HOUSTON, Texas — April is National Adaptive Sports Month, and as part of that, we’re introducing you to one adaptive athlete who truly knows no bounds.
Through each swing and every drive, golf is Doug Dillard’s time to unwind, but he’s also quite the competitor, even using just one arm.
“The first time they play golf with me, they’re not expecting much," Doug said. “And they get out there, and I have out-driven them on the course.”
Diagnosed with cerebral palsy at the age of 18, Doug has had to adapt most of his life. For three years, he’s been in a wheelchair.
But even that hasn’t slowed him down.
“And then you realize you gotta figure out a way to continue living life," Doug said. “Mono-skiing led to handcycling. Handcycling led to basketball, basketball, and it just sort of progressed from there.”
In the winter, he monoskis. In the summer, he handcycles. On the weekend, he plays basketball. And golf, that’s year-round.
He’s done over 40 marathons and three MS150s, but golf is his latest love.
“To see guys on the course, kind of giving you a fist pump as you go by, it’s pretty special," Doug said.
There’s adaptive equipment, but he doesn’t use it. Instead, Doug built his own wheelchair, shortened his own clubs and adjusted his swing.
“Really all you have to do is just put yourself out there," Doug said.
And while every hit’s not a hole-in-one, inspiring others is what really drives him.
“That’s sort of part of why I do it. Things that shouldn’t be possible, I do it because someone is going to see that, and say, you know, 'My brother who’s disabled might be able to try that too,'" Doug said.
On top of being a successful businessman, Doug has also co-founded a non-profit called Bee Abled, an organization that embraces athletes with disabilities, helping them achieve both mental and physical health through sports and social interactions.